[whatwg] Serving up Theora <video> in the real world

Michael A. Puls II shadow2531 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 9 17:50:05 PDT 2009

On Thu, 09 Jul 2009 19:10:08 -0400, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com>  

> On Jul 9, 2009, at 3:34 PM, Peter Kasting wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 3:30 PM, Aryeh Gregor <Simetrical
>> +w3c at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 10:04 PM, David Gerard<dgerard at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > Really? I thought that was next Chrome, not this Chrome.
>> It works in the developer version:
>> http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel
>> For any site author needing a UA sniffing route to determine whether
>> a visitor's Chrome version supports <video>, just look for version
>> 3.x or higher.
> I'd recommend using feature testing or fallback instead though, if you
> can make that work for your site.

Just to add:

For detecting video support via JS, I suggest feature testing for  
window.HTMLVideoElement (and optionally window.HTMLAudioElement and  

You indeed can't really go by UA string sniffing as what if I use UserJS  
to make HTMLVideoElement and HTMLAudioElement aliases to  
HTMLUnknownElement, HTMLMediaElement equal to {} and use Getters/Setters  
and prototypes to provide an HTMLMediaElement API proxy to a child  
<object> that loads the VideoLan plug-in (for example, which is scriptable  
and can play Theora and others)?

In that case, I wouldn't want to have to also spoof the UA (via HTTP  
User-Agent and JS's navigator.userAgent etc.) just to get the right code  
on the page.

I already see that <http://openvideo.dailymotion.com/> and  
<http://youtube.com/html5> are using lousy UA string detection. There is  
some use of fallback for <video>, but for the JS code that calls stuff  
like video.play() etc., UA string detection is used, which makes things  
too brittle and makes it so any new browser that supports <video> has to  
wait for the UA detection to get updated.

I think I saw a recent Jquery <video>/<audio> plug-in though that doesn't  
use any UA string detection, which is good.


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